EGR 590/CE 590 Introduction to Facilities Engineering Systems

This course is intended to build on a traditional bachelorís degree in an engineering discipline, and introduce the engineer graduate students to a multi-disciplinary approach to engineering and management required in the field of facilities engineering. James Rispoli, the course instructor, is a licensed professional engineer with 15 years experience at installation level: as chief of engineering, chief of facilities planning and programming, director of facilities and public works at a major airport, and director of public works, facilities and environment at a major seaport. Additionally, he was facilities and environmental planning department head for a federal agency, covering installations in a 24 state area. He will bring the practical aspects of facilities engineering and management, along with case studies based on actual situations, to the course material. The students will have the opportunity to evaluate, analyze and propose solutions to facilities engineering challenges as presented in those case studies. 3 credit hours.


• Prerequisite

Graduate standing with an undergraduate technical degree.

This course is NC State University’s initial offering of an introduction to facilities engineering. Facilities engineering is an application of multidisciplinary engineering and management requiring knowledge of the entire spectrum of the physical plant, including the planning cycle, the buildings, infrastructure, and people. The typical scope of duties requires an understanding of both “big picture” components of facilities planning, budget prioritization, overall engineering and operations; and also the ability to understand specific facility issues, such as those posed by HVAC failures, power failures, critical pavement integrity (such as airfield pavements), environmental compliance, network-controlled energy efficiency systems, and cyber-security. This course will prepare the student for a career role, or support role, in facilities engineering.
• Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course students will:

  • Have an understanding of the interrelationship of various engineering disciplines necessary to be an effective facilities engineer.
  • Be able to evaluate both single and multi-disciplinary engineering issues and propose/implement solutions.
  • Understand risk management in a complex engineering environment to prioritize facilities needs.
  • Be capable of development of a program to support a budget that is based on engineering knowledge.
  • Understand the basics of environmental regulation and compliance including aspects of environmental planning and sustainability.
  • Be conversant with approaches to safety in the workforce, to include construction and day-to-day operations.
  • Be aware of organizational structures that may be employed in a facilities engineering/public works department, and the typical functions of the components of such an organization.
  • Understand the types of work from both a physical perspective (repair, maintenance, construction) and also the legal perspective (capital construction vs. repair) and laws that are applicable to certain types of engineering contracting and construction trades.
  • Be aware of aspects of construction management, and insuring quality delivery for the owner organization.
  • Acquire basic financial management tools needed by facilities engineering and management organizations.
  • Understand the components of emergency preparedness and resiliency, and how multi-disciplinary engineering contributes to continuity of mission performance by both preparation and response/recovery.
  • Be prepared for communications with stakeholders to translate the engineering and management needs into terms that elicit support for the programs and the budget necessary to operate, maintain, construct, and manage.

• Course Topics
  • Facilities Engineering and Facility Management – differentiate between the two and identify common elements
  • Organization of the Public Works/Facilities Engineering Department – functions and responsibilities
  • Define facilities engineering terms: repair, maintenance, operations, construction
  • Examine real-world, current examples of issues and consequences to the public relative to maintenance and operations
  • Purposes and value of employing a credible and effective facilities assessment program
  • Projects and categories of projects: capital construction, repairs, methods to plan and execute
  • Construction trades, and Service trades, relative to types of work and types of projects
  • Overview of environmental laws, regulation, and compliance and importance to the facilities engineer
  • Safety, to include laws and requirements, and also lessons learned on developing and maintaining safe workforce practices
  • Emergency preparedness; the emergency operations center (EOC) and the facilities engineer’s/public works officer’s role
  • Resilience and restoration of capability and services after a natural or man-made event
  • Sustainability, the economic aspects, practical aspects, and implementation.
  • Categories of work (maintenance, repair, construction) and the “legal” type of contracts available (construction, services); Davis-Bacon Act, Brooks Act and other potential statutory aspects
  • The flow and management of work requirements and work; a decision process for determining whether identified work should be done with in-house trades/shops, or by contract
  • Scope of responsibilities and essential aspects of being an effective facilities engineer
  • Construction management for work by contract; the various options for facilities engineering role and function
  • Aspects of various engineering disciplines and knowledge related to facilities engineering:  wet and dry utilities systems, HVAC systems, building controls, pavements, roofing and others 
  • Providing customer service; difficult choices in constrained funding situations and methods to consider customer needs

• Course Requirements

The course requires reading and case studies. Students will be required to complete two case study reports and oral presentations. There will be four quizzes (scheduled) and a final. The overall course numerical grade will be calculated based on a weighted average as follows:

Student attendance  


Case Studies (2)   15%
Individual  Assignments (4)*   20%
Quizzes (4)   40%
Final   15%

• Required Textbooks

The Facility Management Handbook, Fourth Edition, Professors Kathy O. Roper and Richard P. Payant; AMACOM, 2014.  ISBN-10: 0-8144-3215-8  | ISBN-13: 978-0-8144-3215-0  $79.95 list

Public Works Department Management Guide, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, 2008. Note: This text will be provided electronically to the students at no cost. It is in the public domain.

Other Reading Materials
Supplemental reading on relevant issues will be required throughout the course.

• Instructor

James A. Rispoli, Senior Lecturer
Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
310 Mann Hall
NCSU Campus
Raleigh, NC 27695

Phone: 919-515-4345